Posted on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 at 6:42 pm
We’ve been conditioned to think that after a certain age, it’s no longer necessary to take a nap. In reality, there are several reasons why it is perfectly fine, even healthy, to take a little cat nap in the afternoon. Consider these napping benefits:
Sharpen Your Mind
Studies have found that napping can sharpen the brain by helping it interpret information better. It may also help the brain function more efficiently. Napping can reduce the level of a chemical in the brain called adenosine. This neurotransmitter helps play a role in cognition.
Napping may also help people who are learning new information better retain that information. Studies suggest that naps can help with memory consolidation. Memory consolidation is a process wherein the brain turns information into long-term memories.
A short nap may help boost the body’s immune system. Napping may help reduce stress and the levels of inflammatory cytokines and norepinephrine in the body. Studies suggest that reducing these chemicals with a nap may help restore balance to the immune system.
Help Prevent Heart Disease
A more robust immune system isn’t the only benefit of a stress-busting nap. Research shows that napping may also help decrease a person’s risk of developing heart disease.
Studies also indicate that napping may help boost productivity and work performance. Napping may give some workers an edge during the work-day and could lead to performance advantages.
Other benefits associated with napping include:
- Reduced sleepiness
- Regulating emotions
- Improving creativity
- Increasing alertness
While there are benefits to taking a nap, how do you incorporate one into your daily routine? For a successful nap, consider these tips:
- Don’t sleep too late into the day
- Set an alarm
- Create a comfortable environment
- Consider a sleep mask or noise-canceling headphones
- Practice relaxation techniques
To gain the health benefits a nap has to offer, it is also crucial to consider the length of the nap itself. A nap that is too short may not give a person healthy benefits. Napping for too long may throw off a person’s evening sleep routine and leave them feeling groggy. The ideal nap length is generally between 10 and 20 minutes. These so-called “power naps” offer people recovery benefits without leaving them feeling tired.
Why Am I So Tired?
Napping can have a very positive impact on a person’s physical and mental health. However, it is also vital to consider why a person may need a nap in the first place. If you feel exhausted and constantly run-down, there may be an underlying problem that needs to be addressed that a mid-day nap can’t fix.
Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms, and do any of them make it difficult for you to sleep?
- Partner complaining that you snore
- Waking up with a dry or sore throat
- Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
- Waking up at night gasping for air
These symptoms may indicate a deeper problem like sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder that can significantly impact a person’s overall health and wellbeing. Although there are different types of sleep apnea, the condition generally causes an interruption to a person’s breathing while they are asleep. Incorporating a nap into an individual’s daily routine will help, but ultimately the underlying problem needs to be solved.
If you feel like you can’t function without an afternoon nap or have problems getting to sleep or staying asleep at night, you may have an undiagnosed sleep disorder. The staff at Silent Night Therapy understand the detrimental effects of not getting enough sleep. Our experienced team can help you get to the root of your problem and offer you a variety of treatment options. Get started living your best life and contact us today or call our office at 631-983-2463 for a complimentary sleep consultation.
Posted on Monday, September 6th, 2021 at 11:39 pm
Most people look forward to sleeping in on Saturday after finishing a long and exhausting week of work. You might think you can “catch up” on the sleep you didn’t get earlier in the week by sleeping in on the weekends. However, this need to sleep for longer could indicate a serious problem. If you don’t feel rested after getting the recommended number of hours of sleep, it might be because you’re experiencing interrupted sleep due to a sleep-related disorder, such as sleep apnea.
Research has shown that maintaining a consistent and deep sleep state every night improves heart health, cognitive functioning, and a range of other benefits. Unfortunately, most people admit that they don’t get the shut-eye they need to function at full physical and mental capacity. Additionally, some don’t follow a regular schedule, meaning they don’t go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. This can throw off your circadian rhythm, which is the body’s internal clock that determines when a person feels alert or tired.
Signs You’re Not Getting the Sleep You Need
Your body will tell you if you don’t get a good night’s sleep. The most common signs include:
- Bags, dark circles, and puffy eyes
- Weight gain
- Craving unhealthy foods
- Increased caffeine intake
- New or worsening depression
- Trouble with memory and concentration
- Waking up with a dry mouth, headache, or sore throat
- Compromised immune system
If you regularly suffer from these symptoms, there are some easy solutions that could help. Create a schedule, so you go to bed at the same time every night and wake up to an alarm at the same time every morning. Make sure it’s completely dark in your bedroom, so your brain doesn’t confuse daylight with your alarm clock or a streetlight outside.
If necessary, buy blackout curtains for your windows, keep your bedroom door closed, and turn off your phone notifications, so it doesn’t light up in the middle of the night. You might also need to make an appointment with your doctor if at-home remedies don’t seem to help. A lack of sleep can indicate a medical condition, such as sleep apnea.
The Link Between Poor Sleep and Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that causes you to start and stop breathing throughout the night while you’re sleeping. Although several types of sleep apnea exist, the most common is obstructive sleep apnea.
One of the major warning signs that you suffer from this condition is snoring. Other symptoms can include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Headaches in the morning
- High blood pressure
- Waking up abruptly combined with choking or gasping for air
- Sore throat or dry mouth
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changes in mood
Disrupted breathing while you sleep means your body wakes you up often throughout the night. You might not even realize it’s happening and only find out about this issue from a partner. Constant sleep interruptions mean you’re not getting the rest you need at night, leaving you feeling fatigued during the day. Fortunately, there are treatment options.
Trouble Sleeping? Sleep Apnea Might Be the Culprit
Silent Night Therapy has experience diagnosing and treating sleep-related issues. If you’re waking up feeling sluggish and unrested, sleep apnea could be to blame. Call us today at 631-983-2463 for a free consultation to determine whether you’re suffering from sleep apnea and learn about the available treatment options.